purpose, second edition

A friend requested a college edition of purpose, a post in which I’d attempted to think about why life excited me way back in school. It’s crazy how insanely shallow and yet incredibly true that post is. My short term goals are momentary and startlingly specific.

In school, my world was limited to school and home. That was a blessing in disguise. I wasn’t affected by anything beyond the fence but for some weird reason I wanted to be.

Years later, here I am…still wondering what helps me wake up with hope and energy. In the bluntest terms, my purpose

Summer after school ended: Going college shopping, the possibilities that come with transitioning from school to college, the thought of having a good college experience and really turning things around

First year, college: Getting good grades, no room to slack off because I wanted to get into every Master’s course I applied to, I didn’t want to be rejected by anyone ever again.

Second year, college: Reading, interning, reading obsessively because book blog but in a way that felt so enriching, studying became easy again so I didn’t have to study obsessively

Third year, college: Not screwing up my post as Lit Sec, spending time with friends, allowing for good moments with people to have as much meaning as my invisible military-style check list of goals for every year

Summer after undergrad: Not screwing up entrances and interviews, wondering why it mattered sometimes but salvaging those helpless purposeless moments by escaping into a book, Candy Crush! I had to finish 100+ levels…just because.

First year grad: Cycling around a pretty campus, learning for learning, through videos, through assignments, through life… plastic fluorescent stars, a vision board, the night-sky… more about experiencing, less about concrete needs and goals and outcomes.

Second year grad: Stuck without thrill or meaning when my yellow phone got misplaced and my data didn’t work…made me wonder how everything depended on network. why. Made me feel so hopeless and ordinary.

Second year last few months: Experiencing, living, being, me.

Summer after grad: I lived for attention, belongingness, validation. Or just any one. Life needed to be a good story, a quirky plot.

my purpose, now: Finding balance. Embracing moderation. Carving my own destiny without upsetting everything in sight in the name of free will. It’s so easy to throw yourself into everything or abstain. But to regulate and stay afloat…to flourish while holding back especially during times when it’s just more comfortable and less troublesome to abandon logic and context…Moderation and/ equilibrium is the real challenge (less is more, more or less).

I started my new years feeling happy to have had a balanced and fruitful day.

But one day is easy. I hope to summon the strength and resources to make what I want out of the rest of the year.

Hope story

It was the week that trumped all of her other bad weeks: she’d lost her phone, her friends were dealing with their own issues, and all of her course work that had been due a week back remained incomplete Living away from home had always been fun, but not this week. This week, the university campus seemed to be filled with booby traps and dead ends. It was filled with people but there was no one, really.

The last straw was when her teammate for one of her assignments had requested her to stay back to work on a Saturday.

“But I’m going home!” she exclaimed, indignant. “I was planning to take the bus home this weekend. It’s been three weeks since I’ve been home.”

“Just one day,” her teammate pleaded. “Please?”

Of course she couldn’t say no. She had every other assignment due already. How could she slack off on this as well? She had to stay. She had to stay and pore over references books that blurred over into one fat burden. She had to.

So she stayed Saturday and halfheartedly helped her teammate format the citations for the last part of their assignment. The minute she was done, she knew she had to catch the bus home the next day- however late it was.

“You’re out of your mind,” her friend said. “It’s a three hour journey. You’re saying that you’re gonna leave Sunday, reach Sunday evening, and get back to college Monday morning? That’s madness. It’ll tire you out.”

“I know what I’m doing,” she said, her voice beginning to break. “I need to go home. I need to.”

The next day, she packed her bags and took the bus home. One of her other friends had tried to talk her out of it, but had realised how futile it was when she remained resolute. The journey was long and irritating, especially when she realised she didn’t have a phone to listen to music. She borrowed the phone of the lady sitting next to her and informed her parents that she was on her way.

And yet, by the time she reached her parents looked worried.

“What took you so long?” they asked. “We called all your friends to check on you! You’re fifteen minutes late!”

“I’m FIFTEEN minutes late and you call everyone I know? Why? Why would you embarrass me like that?” she burst out. There were tears in her eyes, and she was on the verge of a breakdown. She’d waited all week to fall apart; she couldn’t stop the unraveling.

And that was when she saw the look in her parents’ eyes; the way their eyes softened but remained alert. It was like they knew what she’d been through without really knowing. It was like they understood, when no one else, even her closest friends had.

“Food’s ready though,” her mother said softly. “Go eat. You look tired.”

She followed her parents to the dining table and felt like a child. As she tasted the first mouthful of chappathi dipped in dal, it was an unveiling by itself. She couldn’t- couldn’t- hold on to the mindless rage and chaotic anxiety anymore. Her mother’s fluffy chappatis and carefully made dal melted her heart, and temporarily cured her of everything. Suddenly, there was promise, that even if things wouldn’t get better- these two wonderful people were there. That was all that mattered. That would take her forward.

This post is a part of the IndiBlogger Happy Hours activity, sponsored by housing.com

day before the birthday.

the confusion, the blur, fear, hope, the fear of hoping, the weight of being carried, sand, the dampness, the ocean, being dunked, the laughter, the detachment, the wonder infused with the consciousness, laughing it off as the thought process was at a standstill for once as the moment was there.. under my control, and enjoying it was in my hands, the log, the rain, the thunder, the umbrella, walking, talking, laughing in the rain, the ride, the journey, the arrival, the pictures, the hugs, the determined over-the-topness, the departure, shivering as it rained, on the motorbike, the chattering teeth and the shaking hands, getting back home, glowing, with the formation of a memory I will always look back on fondly, and no one can take it away from me, and that’s enough, because it’s all I’ve ever wanted, beyond things and opinions, for this can never be taken away from me.

gaps.

When you looked at me then
What did you see?
Fake smiles and real smiles,
Laughter and chatter,
When words flew out
Making no sense
But they were words
And they were precious
And they were words.

I crossed the river
With a confidence now alien
The journey sucking out
Everything I had taken for granted
A cry, a shiver, abashed and daunted
I smiled, I dithered, I wouldn’t go back
Waiting, pacing, waiting and waiting
For the grass
That wasn’t any greener
On the other side.

When you look at me now
What do you see?
Forced smiles amidst fake lies
Awkwardness and silence
As words fly out
To fill the spaces
I feel now missing
In me.

thelostandfound.

Caught Harry Potter yesterday.

Everyone agreed that it could’ve been better. More than anything, the whole experience was ruined for me this time because I was as depressed as hell before, after and during the movie due to other reasons. But I liked the end unlike most people. And the way it was shot was beautiful. Am I the only one who thought Dumbledore said some really weird, awkward things in the middle?

And god. Ginny was so not like how she’s supposed to be. And what’s with the balcony things? I don’t know. It wasn’t very Hogwarts-y. The first three movies got the feel of the book way way better.

Anyway, yeah, you can’t expect such a brilliant, brilliant book to be got exactly right on film. I would’ve probably enjoyed it more if:  a) I hadn’t had to rush from school and join my friends and miss the first two minutes of the movie and b) cared so much about the fact that the person sitting next to me and I had kind of had this mini-Cold-War yesterday.

I guess this year was just not meant to be. Fuzzy-warm-awesome traditions have either vanished or become these iron-clad LAWS. Ridiculous, but true. I miss a lot of things but I guess I shouldn’t brood. People change, things change and the world evolves.

And I shouldn’t be so resitant to the new traditions that are cropping up which feel nice but I just tell myself that they aren’t how things are supposed to be because I’m more attached to some things than I should be.

On the brighter side of things, I have a new fictional character to crush on now:  Severus Snape. Wow. I loved him. I love him. Why did he ever not find some one again?

I can totally relate to him nowadays. I think that’s one grade better than finding myself to be so so much like Lee Fiora from Prep. THAT was depressing.